The Daily Bread Mailbag returns with Stephen "Breadman" Edwards tackling topics such as the recent unification between Jermell Charlo and Brian Castano, the upcoming clash between Manny Pacquiao and Errol Spence, plenty of mythical matchups, the PED saga of Jean Pascal and more.

Hey Breadman! You list the reasons why Spence will beat Pac: size, age, and reach. You see a decision for Spence…do you see Spence stopping or KO-ing in any possibility or will Spence be content with boxing Pac and bagging rounds?

Bread’s Response: Yes I can see Errol stopping Pacman also but it depends on his mindset. Errol is a strong, heavy handed fighter. But he’s not an electric one punch ko guy, like Robinson or Hearns. So therefore his stoppages comes from an accumulation of heavy shots. So it depends on his mindset. How aggressive he is. How much of a killer he decides to be. I don’t know what Spence will be content to do. I think it depends on what he feels from Pacman. If he feels danger or he gets hurt he may box. If he feels he can stop Pac, he may go for it. You never really know until two guys line up and feel each other’s energy. 

I watched your video of Dan Canobbio’s show and you were spot on. The same as your prediction of Lubin vs Rosario. I know you studied these guys at 154lb but man, it’s refreshing. You predicted everything down to Castano’s chin, how his amateur pedigree allowed him to score points, Jermell not being as controlling with the jab as Jermall and Jermell using his legs to box. He kept going to the ropes because his defense is not that good in the box. All I can say is wow! Now to my question. Who do you think has an advantage in the rematch?

Bread’s Response: Thanks. Yes I studied Jermell and Castano for years. When I know fighters it’s easy to predict the type of fight it will be. Exact outcomes are hard because of judges but again I can predict the type of fight it will be about 90% of the time. 

I actually think the rematch slightly favors Jermell because his adjustments will be easier. Keep the fight in the center of the ring. Increase the volume of his jab. Stay off of the ropes. Castano fought about as good as he can fight. The only thing that he could’ve done different was get the decision to make his confidence even higher and not trade hooks with Charlo. Castano would have to do something to SUPE up his conditioning. Technically he fought as good as he could fight considering the circumstances. 

Jermell can punch. Castano couldn’t just run in there. Jermell is also a lot longer. So it takes time to break the reach. So Castano would have to figure out how to literally make his lung capacity higher and increase the volume of his attack. That’s pretty much it. He fought the best fight of his life. When that happens I sort of lean towards the guy who can fight better. Castano deserves credit for making Jermell struggle, but nevertheless I believe Jermell can execute his game plan better in a rematch. 

Bread, your breakdown was on again. Dam bro, you’re the best I’ve ever seen. My question is why do you think Jermell kept going to the ropes? The fight seemed different when he held it in the center of the ring.

Bread’s Response: Holding the fight in the center of the ring, requires burning leg energy to HOLD GROUND. It requires a higher punch output because you’re more or less taming you’re opponent with your punches. Last but not least Jermell doesn’t jab or throw enough punches to hold the fight in the center of the ring, Jermell didn’t seem to want to expend that type of energy. One of the reasons he’s so dangerous late, it because he conserves his energy. If he stands his ground and increases his volume, he may not be as explosive late. There is a reason for everything you see and everything is interconnected.

So Jermell was trying to clip Castano coming in with a check left hook. He caught Castano but he didn’t ko him, so he had a tough night. It’s boxing. What I do know is that Derrick James teaches his fighter to use their feet and catch punches as their defense. Jermell was using more head movement which is something James may not teach. There is no right or wrong just different philosophies. I’m curious as to where the new head movement came from.  Maybe Jermell thought he could make Castano miss and make him pay with his head movement. It was actually pretty good. He avoided some big volleys on the ropes. But sometimes trying new things can make a fighter indecisive.

Bread, Whew, I threw out the Barkley/Hearns comparison for Castano/Charlo and I don't think I was too off on that one. What a performance by Castano despite being unlucky with the draw. He had the fight in his grasp and it all flipped in the 10th round. You won't hear me say it was a robbery or anything, but Castano looked like the better man on Saturday night. Round by Round scoring allows for the inferior fighter to technically get the draw or the win if they are able to squeak out rounds. Charlo's rounds he won minus the two rounds he hurt Castano were competitive. The rounds Castano won were more clear. It was sort of like Gonzalez vs Estrada II in that case. Again, not mad at the draw but just the scoring system used in boxing can be flawed at times and I think that was the case on Saturday night.

One underrated aspect of Castano's game is he is able to pressure you while being defensively sound. He also seems to take a punch well and more importantly recover quickly enough which makes him HELL to deal with. The ability to take the jab away is also something he does well. Looking at the 154 pounders, I feel like you have to have an all round offensive arsenal to beat him if you can't stop him. He very well could and probably should have wins over Lara and Charlo. I'd be VERY interested to see Lubin get a shot against him as he has almost every punch in his game and has great timing. Another LMW who would be fun to match him in against is Jrock. While both Lubin and JRock have durability issues, they have the most complete offensive arsenal and are able to throw the types of punches that Charlo just isn't. But man Derrick James is so good with his instructions and is always able to get his fighters to close strong in tight fights. Look at Charlo vs Jackson, Charlo vs Castano, Spence vs Brook and Spence vs Porter. That is not by coincidence that these guys are able to land that one big shot or multiple shots to flip the fight around.

Lastly, who are some of the best fighters that were able to hide being hurt the best? So who had the best poker faces in the game? I thought Charlo hid being hurt to the body very well this past Saturday but who are some others that come to mind? Take care.

Bread’s Response: Most fans don’t know how to score fights. They carry over momentum which isn’t correct. Great point. In GGG vs Canelo I always said I thought GGG won more rounds in their first fight mathematically. But Canelo fought a BETTER fight as far as execution of skill. In Charlo vs Castano I thought Castano showed more but mathematically Charlo has a case for a draw. But nothing more. Castano has a case for winning 7 rounds…

It was a very close fight but Castano won the event. More people think he won than Charlo won. But you have to give Charlo credit for his clutch gene. He displayed it like clockwork. Charlo always lands a shot he needs to land. It’s a great quality he has. Derrick James is a GREAT trainer but I don’t know if Jermell was listening to him. James told Charlo to stay off the ropes, don’t back up and use his jab more. I think if Charlo listened more he would have won. He did back up to the ropes. And he could have jabbed more. He listened in the 12th round and took it and earned the draw. But maybe he tried to listen but Castano didn’t allow him too. You have to factor that in. But overall James does a great job with his fighters. He has two elite, unified champions. Two fighters who are top 20 P4P in the world in the same stable. Most people have Errol in the top 5 or 6 and Jermell just outside of the top 10.

Castano catches punches well. He has fast feet and very good timing. He’s the definition of a pressure technician. He can really fight. Funny you brought up Jrock. I wanted Castano as his 1st title defense because I thought Jrock matched up well with him. It’s not that Jrock is so much better than Charlo overall but he’s a more talented offensive fighter in terms of “getting off”. Charlo is athletic and strong but he’s not as naturally talented in my opinion. Lubin is the most talented kid in the division. He’s a mirror image to Jrock but I think he may hit a little harder, and he’s a southpaw. Both would give Castano match up nightmares. Castano can punch but he’s not a lights out guy so….I think both of their jabs are busy and slashing enough to offset Castano’s aggression.

Both Charlo brothers are amongst the most durable fighters in all of boxing. They take punches well and rarely show signs of distress. I saw them both hurt in their last fights but they were able to hide it and recover well. In fact 90% of the great fighters have this ability. Some stand out more. I won’t go all time but I will go my lifetime. Marvin Hagler never really acknowledged punches or being hurt. So he may be the best. Chavez, Marquez and Margarito are up there. Floyd Mayweather has been buzzed by Corley, Maidana, Judah and Pac. But he’s so calm and composed he just gets past it. His legs show it some but his face never does. I think Errol Spence is also good at hiding it. I think Danny Garcia buzzed him with a right hand and he hid it well. I think Freddie Roach saw it though and that’s why we got the Pac vs Spence fight. GGG, Canelo, Chocolatito and Nonito are probably the best current fighters of not showing being hurt. But again it’s really something that most elite fighters have figured out. Every single fighter gets hurt. But some just show it more. The gift is to not show it and keep on keeping on. It’s why I don’t believe in being too demonstrative. 

Jim Brown used to say he got up slow after every play. Even if he wasn’t hurt. Because he didn’t want to tip off the opposing players. In boxing, boxers shouldn’t get too high or low. Because when they do get hurt, they don’t want to let the opponent know.

Hey Mr Edwards,

Here is to hoping you are as good as ever and your family and friends and peers in the sport are in good health. Man, you make a man dread the very thought of going against your picks. With the explosiveness of Jermell Charlo, I really couldn't see where you were coming from making this out to be a tough outing for him. Sure, you got it right like you mostly do and you actually saw Castano hold his own. Well, Castano more than held his own, he held ALL the belts. There was no robbery, only an attempted robbery and I hope you don't think I'm disparaging the judge with the 117-111 scorecard. In this sport we need to respect the calls people make because we all have our places in the boxing pantheon. I'm the fan, you are the maker of champions, Charlo and Castano are those champions and this man sits at ringside and tallies the points.

Let's have views yes but let's respect the decisions. It was certainly a close, high level, back and forth struggle worthy of its place near the top of all 154 pound epics of the past. Charlo easily remains the most dangerous gunslinger in the division but this time he was kind of slow on the draw. However, don't listen to any talk that he had an off night. Castano GAVE him the off night. Charlo was every bit as good as ever but Castano showed how you fight a twitchy, explosive cobra. You manage the distance, you punch with him and you cast aside all fear. There's time to be afraid after the fight. Castano reminded me of a countryman of his called Carlos Giminez who had the misfortune to be in the same era as the great Antonio Cervantes and Wilfred Benitez and so never won a world title, but he was a nightmare for anyone and brought exactly the same skills set to the ring as Castano.

Of course, Castano must give Charlo a rematch (I'm talking a little like Maidana after his first fight with Floyd). Charlo is on the verge of Junior middleweight supremacy but what's changed is that he's no longer a lock-in. His chin remains the most rock-solid in the division but there's considerable disquiet about the two left hooks Castano cracked him with in the third round and those will set up a very intriguing sequel. I haven't seen all of Charlo's fights but in all those I've seen I haven't seen him get hit that hard and for a split second there I thought we would have a re-run of the second round of Mayweather-Mosley. So in the rematch, Charlo is definitely going to walk a Tarver-Jones jr II tightrope.What do you think Mr Edwards?

Finally, I know the "other side of the street" nonsense will come up again but given some evidence of bad blood between Charlo and Terence Crawford, how do you think that pans out if in an ideal world TC moves up and it gets made? For me, TC will be smaller and Charlo longer and rangier with power TC has never experienced before but TC has such a formidable skills set and adaptability that it is a very very interesting fight. For me where TC has the edge is his killer instinct and vicious finishing. And if a visibly hurt Castano could get away from Charlo, the fleet footed TC can also do it but come back with a greater vengeance. Try as I do I cannot imagine Castano making it out of the second or tenth rounds against TC the way he did against Charlo. For me, that's the difference between Charlo and TC.

MM - Antonio Cervantes v Josh Taylor. Taylor is very very good but Cervantes was probably taller, rangier, very patient with a cracker of a right hand, the southpaw's chief threat. If the great Aaron Pryor doesn't come along, it takes JC Superstar years later to stop him. That's how good the man was. Am I right?

Thanks Mr Edwards, and looking forward to more Saturdays from you.

Katlholo, Johannesburg-South Africa.

Bread’s Response: Thanks I made a good pick but I don’t mind saying I get some wrong too. I’m human. What I take more pride in is being able to predict what “type” of fight will happen. Predicting a winner sometimes is not feasible because of judging. 

I can’t let the judge off that easy. There is NO way to come to a score of 117-111 for Charlo. That is either incompetence or corruption. It’s just too far off reality to be a subjective preference. And it’s no coincidence that the A side fighter always gets this weird and bizarre card. 

Charlo is very explosive but Castano can really “box” going forward. He knows how to score points. He rarely loses 2 rounds in a row. His chin was the big question to me…I hope to see a rematch also. I think Charlo will be better. His adjustments are easier for him to execute. But I agree that was NOT an off night. That was Brian Castano who gave him trouble it’s as simple as that. Charlo would have stopped a lot of guys Saturday night. Castano just wasn’t one of them.

The impressive thing about the left hooks Castano hurt Charlo with was, Charlo had just hurt Castano with a left hook and Castano kept a gunslinger mentality and still hooked with Charlo the very next round. Very impressive. Very impressive. 

Wow! You think TC moves up and fights Charlo. I would love that. At this point I just want to see great fights. I don’t even get excited about possible fights anymore because I know they won’t get made. I think Charlo is taller but I think their reaches are close. I think Crawford is the better boxer and more naturally talented fighter. I think Charlo may be a little stronger. Both are athletic. Athleticism and talent are different. Again Crawford is more talented. His mind processes faster. If they were both the same size I would favor Crawford. But in a real fight the P4P stuff goes out of the window. This is a hard fight to determine because Crawford gets hit and Charlo can ko him. That’s real. Crawford is special but he’s not unhittable. Right now I think Crawford would open as a slight favorite in Vegas. Me personally I don’t know. It’s a tough fight because Jermell is not only bigger but he’s not slow. He’s going to hit Crawford. I don’t want to give Crawford credit for taking Jermell’s punches without him doing it. That’s a serious factor in this fight. I have no idea what will happen if Charlo hits him clean.

I can’t call Cervantes vs Taylor yet. We need to learn more about Taylor.

Ssup Bread,

I really want your take on the Charlo brothers. Do you think they have it in them to take their performance to the next level? I have found Jermell unimpressive from the start. He struggled in every fight and was losing the Rosario fight till he got the knockout. People will say he is a good rematch fighter basis just one performance against Harrison but he was losing that fight as well till he got the knockout. Is he too dependent on a knockout for a guy who does not have that much power? His punch selection is rather poor and he seems to be too cautious in big fights. Castano was able to take his shots better than Rosario and Harrison and I had him winning by 3 points when I saw the fight.

After rewatching, I changed it to a 1-point victory for Castano. Jermall seemed good in Derevyachenko fight but it was still a close one and right after that he gave an underwhelming performance against Montiel. He also has poor cardio. I want to believe that they have that extra gear because they are starlicious and that is good for boxing but I fail to see that level in them. Unlike you, I always discard eye test and go by the record and hence felt Jermell should have reached P4P status. I have started having more respect for eye test since Saturday night. The guys who did not have him in top 10 proved me wrong. For years, I felt that I will only put Crawford in my personal P4P Top 5 when he beats the real dudes at 147. In the past I had him as high as No.2 but had dropped him to No.6 since last 2 years. I still had him in my P4P top 10 list till Saturday. After my new found respect for eye test, I have him in top 5 once again. While I may still not be able to put him on the No.1 spot till he beats PBC fighters at 147 but he deserves to be in Top 5 for sure. P.S. Just by eye test, I have felt that Crawford was No.1 since 2017.

Regards, Saurabh

Bread’s Response: I think Jermell does have power. He has scored some nice kos over the last few years. But it’s not Julian Jackson, Tommy Hearns or Felix Trinidad type of power at 154lbs. Jermell only has 18kos in 34 wins and 36 fights overall. On a scale of 1 to 10 I think his power is a 7.5 which is very good. I think his power is CLUTCH though, so it gets talked about. He lands big shots at the right time. He’s like Reggie Miller in basketball. Reggie Miller was an excellent 2 guard. But he wasn’t better than Iverson, Kobe, McGrady or MJ. But he was as clutch as any of them. The thing about Jermell is he’s CLUTCH.

I think both Charlos are the real deal. But no fighter is invincible. They come through for the most part but they have shown weaknesses like any other fighter. I think it hurts them that they fight on the average of about every 8-9 months in their primes. It’s hard to reach a SPECIAL peak fighting that seldom. The fans and media expect these ATG performances and they compare them to great fighters. But it’s hard when the opponent’s know your weaknesses and get to study you and you aren’t active. I know the budgets are not there for every 7 figure fighter to fight 3x/year. But every 8-9 months is tough on the skillsets. The only way you overcome that is to train 4-5 days a week, 365 days a year. I don’t know what they do in their spare time but that’s what it will take.

If Either or both Charlo’s were in the P4P top 10 I wouldn’t complain. They have been champions since 2015-16. They are excellent fighters. But whenever I hear someone say that I always ask who do you take out. When I ask that question I don’t get a response because all of the fighters on the list either pass a better eye ball test or have accomplished more.

The Eye Ball test is just as important as everything else in determining a fighter’s worth. Accomplishments, Competition faced, Competition missed and their current standings. Eye Ball test says Terence Crawford is the best fighter in the world. But not as far as competition faced and accomplishments. I don’t argue with anyone that tells me Monster Inoue or Canelo Alvarez is better. If Canelo unifies at 168, I will probably rank him #1 also. I think Caleb Plant is a hard style for him and if Canelo beats Plant convincingly you have to give the man props for taking on two movers in a row, when he gets criticized for not having fast feet. Right now I have them three 1a,1b,1c. And I never argue with anyone who have any of them #1. 

With me it comes down to something simple. If everyone where the same size naturally, who would win and who could beat the most people. I feel as though Crawford would beat Canelo if they were the same size naturally and I feel Crawford would beat the most people. What’s weird is I don’t know if either would beat Inoue if everyone where the same size. If Inoue were a welterweight and he was from the US, I admit he would probably be the #1 fighter. It’s hard for the US media to appreciate an Asian fighter so small. No one will admit it but it’s just how it is. Choc was coming to the end of his prime when he got on HBO. Doug Fischer was telling everyone about him for years before the boxing world caught on..

Good day Bread,

Just want your take on Charlo vs Castano. There was a lot of experts feeling Charlo lost. I feel Castano did enough to win the fight. As you said yourself if it goes 12 rounds you favor Castano and I feel you were right. Here is analysis by Andre Ward: FIGHTERS REACT TO CHARLO VS. CASTANO RESULTS - Andre Ward “Great fight. Close fight. I want to see a rematch. I had Castano winning. 117-111 was a terrible scorecard, terrible! Judge Nelson Vazquez needs to be sat down. That wasn’t a mistake; that was incompetence.”

Bread’s Response: I respect Andre Ward because he’s not afraid to say his opinion. He never disrespects fighters. He never puts them down. He never makes a mockery of them unlike some ex boxers. But he tells the truth in a respectful way. I also thought it was a close fight. I could see a draw. I could reason a draw. At the end I thought to myself draw or Castano. That was my honest first impression at the conclusion of the fight. 

Morning Bread,

I gotta say I had Castano Winning (I was going for Charlo)but in the moment I started realizing that after the 2nd round I wasn’t scoring for Charlo unless he was hurting Castano and this was skewing my perception of the fight. Castano is a world class operator and I know most people thought Charlo would steam roll him. So the screams of Robbery are loud . I had Castano as the winner but I’m not mad at the Draw. Hope there’s a rematch. Also I noticed a few times Castano stopped Him in his tracks with some solid body shots. I feel like Moving forward it’s going to get tougher for both Charlos as they seem to be more vulnerable to body shots... something future foes will employ (easier said then done I know). Charlo didn’t seem interested in a rematch and that the first thing Castano wanted. I’m still picking Charlo in the rematch.

Rolly Romero is a Bully… I like his confidence but I’m not Sure if he’s More like Froch or more Cletus Seldon (dropped off after that Canadian Kid put bars on him) I guess we will see. Bojado was a Prospect that had all of us thinking he was a sure fire and it didn’t work out for him after a few losses. I was thinking of some undefeated prospects or contenders that dropped off with out a loss recently like Frankie Gomez, Pier Oliver Cote, Rock Allen and I’m sure there are more. For one reason or another these guys careers stopped (not cuz they loss but outside issues or health. Thinking through the years what guys do you remember?

Mythical Match ups or Possible match ups - Julian Williams Vs Ericson Lubin, Prime Judah Vs prime Broner @140, Corey Sanders (Wlad fight) Vs Joshua, Jermain Taylor V Danny Jacobs @ 160

Bread’s Response: You know after the fight I said to myself, Charlo is going to have to really earn it moving forward. It’s not the first time he struggled but I think something was different about this time. Each of his next opponents will take things from the Castano and Harrison fights and mix it into their own bag and really fight him tough. We have seen him struggle vs Harrison on the outside and inside. Then we saw a smaller Castano press him and trouble him. This is the thing about the top level. When fighters and trainers see that you are vulnerable it galvanizes them.

Rolly Romero plays a heel. People don’t like him. He has knocked knees so he looks a little clumsy. But let me tell you. He’s no bum. He’s fast, powerful and very confident. He’s not as easy to beat as some may think. I’ve seen fighters like him before. They are a little better than they look. You bring up Carl Froch. Good example. Froch was much better than he “appeared” to be. I don’t know if he will be as good as Froch however. Froch is a HOF level fighter, Romero has a long way to go. I don’t want to compare him to Cletus Seldin. That’s not fair to Romero. Seldin tested positive for PEDS and didn’t appear so good anymore.

Boy I thought Bojado would be the new Oscar. I can’t think of any prospects off the top of my head right now but I will say that boxers need more than talent to make it. They need a support group and team that will put them in the right spots. This game is a lot harder than people realize. 

What’s up coach? In regards to the business of boxing. Do you think promoters & sanctioning bodies purposely ignore the big picture for their personal gains? Or just don’t see it? I don’t understand how there is no urgency to have 1 champion in each weight class. Only sport where we don’t know who the best is, it’s ludicrous. And it would be the best business plan!!!! A PPV crowning multiple weight undisputed champs would do 1M or more buys, unlike the unflattering  200K buys (tank) we just saw. To build off that, assuming the Spence vs Bud fight never happens. Who do you lay blame on? I understand Bob Arum is difficult to deal with and it creates an impasse on his own. But I do think Bud wants that fight. I don’t see that from Spence. I’ve heard about 5 or more different excuses from him since he became champ. Now he’s calling for the fight, but is very aware of how he phrases it “if my side and his side can come to an agreement” then he’ll take the fight. I’m not so sure Errol wants to deal with Bud and I hope history sees it that way.

Thanks, Ed H

Bread’s Response: I don’t think promoters or sanctioning bodies IGNORE the big picture. I just think they only consider it when it benefits them. Self preservation is the only preservation in big business.

If Crawford vs Spence never happens I won’t use the word blame. Sometimes things can not be your fault, but they can be your responsibility. It’s Errol and Terence’s responsibility to make it happen. But here is the thing. And read this close. Fighters have team around them to ADVISE them. They pay people for their services. If a fighter decides to NOT take the advice that they are given, and they LOSE then those people won’t treat them the same anymore. A fighter is on his own if he strays. So if one of those teams, tell their guy to not fight and he fights anyway and doesn’t win, repercussions come with that and some fighters aren’t willing to go against the GRAIN.

Emanuel Steward told Tommy Hearns to leave Roy Jones alone around 1995-96. Hearns wanted the fight. Steward warned him to not take it. It didn’t happen. But if Hearns would have fought Jones during that time and got badly kod then Steward would have let him know like any other alpha male, how bad he screwed up. Just something to consider.

Hey Bread,

I’ve got two things I wanted to write in about.  1 – I wanted to get your take on who you think are the most unknown underrated fighters from 1970 to now?  I picked this time period to cover fighters that you’ve been able to see a lot of.  In terms of ‘unknown’ I mean fighters that you either have not mentioned or almost never mention in your responses.  2 – Is pound-for-pound lists. Obviously they are based on records and past performances.  Sure the eye-ball test comes into it, particularly in trying to gauge how each would fare regardless of the weight class they’re in.  But they're based on what’s happened already, and not what will happen in the next week or year.  

If there was instantly no politics and everyone just had to fight everyone right now (whether they wanted to or not), I find myself considering different boxers.  In a mythical world where that happened (everyone HAD to fight, no ducking or waiting on guys), some fighters might start to take losses.  Cause every year fighters on pound-for-pound lists do get beaten, and drop down or out altogether.  My pound-for-pound list is different in that it’s who I think is the best if everyone had to fight the best tomorrow, and therefore a few fighters would start to fall down rankings.  i.e. say all the top welterweights had to fight Jaron Ennis right now.  If that happened, I think he’s the best at 147 and 154, right now (you've said you don't know if you'd pick anyone to beat him in those classes for a while now).  We don’t know, and will never know, what would happen.

But I feel like this would cause the cream to really rise to the top.    In my opinion the best of the best right now (regardless of record/past performances) are, in order – I’ve only got 9:  Gervonta Davis Jaron Ennis Errol Spence Jr Jermell Charlo Canelo Alvarez Tyson Fury Guillermo Rigondeaux Terence Crawford Jermall Charlo  Sure, Jermell just got a draw, but imo that wouldn’t happen if they rematched.  Inoue is not there, but I think he’ll have less success in his next few fights.  I actually think he’ll lose, and I obviously rate him lower than those I’ve mentioned.  

Rigondeaux might cop a lot of criticism, but he’s definitely a top 10 even at 40.  I think I might have him lower than he would perform, even at his age.  One thing I’m sure I’ve got wrong with my list, is there’d actually be guys around 23 years and over that would, if given the chance right now, perform better and be ready to beat the best (like Ennis).  Just not sure who they are, but I just doubt there’d be only two twenty year olds.  Thanks for the time and wisdom you share in your mailbags.  In particular, I really like your views on the past fighters from the 70s/80s/90s.  


Bread’s Response: The most underrated fighters since 1970…..Bernard “Super Bad” Mays, Tyrone Everrett, Montel Griffin, Tim Witherspoon, Eder Jofre, Marlon Starling, Jeff Chandler, Rodrigo Valdes, Jermaine Taylor and Jose Luis Lopez.

I get your p4p list and I see what you were trying to do. But your list loses credibility if you don’t have Monster Inoue on there. I’m just telling you, your basis is OFF. He’s that good.

Hello, I enjoy reading your mailbag on Saturday mornings. Couple of questions here: is it detrimental or beneficial to switch trainers throughout a boxers career? Secondly, is the trainer always to blame for their fighters loss? Lastly, if you could give some insight to some these mythical match ups:

Lomanchenko vs Juan Manuel Marquez

Floyd Mayweather Jr vs Jermell Charlo

Mikey Garcia vs Gervonta Davis

Canelo Alvarez vs Jermell Charlo

Terrence Crawford vs Miguel Cotto

Andre Ward vs Artur Beterbiev

Thanks, Christian, Phoenix AZ

Bread’s Response: Sometimes it’s beneficial to switch trainers. But believe it or not most times it’s not. Going to a new trainer is like a woman going to a new man after her and her old man have a falling out. Let me explain. 

Here is what happens. The woman goes to the new guy and she tells him, all of her complaints about her old guy. She talks about how he doesn’t take her out. Their dates aren’t fun. The sex is basic. He drinks too much, etc. So the new guy listens and becomes everything the old guy was NOT. It’s easy. So when a fighter loses a fight. The world can see that he lost. So the fighter has to give a reason WHY he lost. He blames the old trainer and he interviews new trainers telling them mistakes the old trainer supposedly made. Then the new trainer says well I wouldn’t have done those things and he becomes everything the old trainer supposedly WAS NOT. It’s the easiest thing in the world to do. Until the new trainer gets the fighter in the same spot, and realizes it’s the fighter’s lack of ability and not the old trainer. 

I say it happens 80% of the time on a trainer switch. If a fighter has a good trainer, if they lose they should grow together and overcome the loss. If a trainer is not up to par, I get moving on. But most times he was instrumental in getting the fighter to a high status so he did something right….. You also have to factor in TIME. Often times fighters run towards BIG name trainers who already have BIG name fighters. The fighter will go from being the top dog, getting 2 hours of individual time everyday. To having to schedule his gym time around the Big name fighter. Trainers get tired. The trainer may not feel like giving every fighter 6-8 rounds of pad work everyday. Watching each detailed thing. Calling around for sparring to schedule a perfect camp. Being a head trainer, is just as much about organizing and time management as it is about knowledge. 

I watched Jermaine Taylor leave Pat Burns after he won a world title from an ATG Bernard Hopkins. Taylor was never as good again. It made no sense. Burns was cast out after getting Taylor the undisputed middleweight championship of the world and beating a great fighter. Taylor not only never reached that form again but he literally struggled in every single fight after he left Burns. He didn’t ko Kasim Ouma, who was viewed as an undersized fighter that would walk into his wheel house and make them look good. He struggled with Cory Spinks in a fight some think he lost. He caught a draw with Winky Wright in a fight more think he lost. Then he was kod by Kelly Pavlik. Then he lost a rematch to Pavlik. He moves up to 168 and gets kod by Froch and Abraham. Years later he gets back with Burns and never loses another fight despite being past his best days. People forget Taylor ended his career on a 5 fight win streak and he won the IBF middleweight title in his last fight. I’m not suggesting Burns was better than Steward but I am suggesting Steward did not do a better job with Taylor than Burns did. There are plenty of good trainers who can do the job that aren’t as popular as the big names.

Oscar De La Hoya is another fighter who kept switching trainers. Oscar was an ATG. But he’s not a top 20 ATG fighter. With the divisions he fought in. His marketability and the competition he faced. If Oscar would have won 3 more of his BIG fights, he goes from a top 100 fighter, to a top 20 fighter. But in crucial moments he always seemed to do the wrong thing. That’s application. That’s applying a solution to a problem that him and ONE trainer would have had in sync. Oscar and Robert Alcazar could have grown together. He definitely looked great with Jesus Rivera and could’ve grown with him. But he wouldn’t stop switching. He went from them to Emanuel Steward to Floyd Mayweather Sr, to Freddie Roach, to Nacho Beristain. I really believe Oscar cost himself a higher all time status by always switching trainers. Alcazar was doing a great job. So was Rivera. There was NO reason to keep leaving.

The great George Foreman switched trainers after he was kod by Ali. Foreman could have been the greatest heavyweight ever. He went to Gil Clancy lost to Jimmy Young and had to retire for 10 years in order to get himself together. 

Andre Ward in contrast got hurt bad as a prospect by Darnell Boone and Kenny Kost. He was hurt for real. He didn’t panic. He didn’t switch trainers and blame Virgil Hunter. Hunter didn’t have a big name resume in 2005. They grew together and became a great team. A HOF team in my opinion. They adjusted and trusted each other. In crucial spots Ward made the right adjustments because he was locked in on Hunter’s advice. They knew how to solve problems. Where as Oscar was all over the place and if you look at the fighters from a talent aspect, Oscar may be more talented but Ward is more steady between the ears.

I’m not saying no trainer ever deserved to lose their job. Some definitely are not up to par. But from my observations 80% of the time, the fighter panics after a loss or subpar performance and instead of holding themselves accountable, they switch trainers. What kills their confidence is, another loss or subpar performance happens again with a new trainer and now they have to take self inventory and realize what REALLY happened.

Recently Jeison Rosario had the performance of his life vs Julian Williams. His trainer did a great job. He loses his next fight to Jermell Charlo and switches trainers. He loses again to Erickson Lubin with a new trainer and now his actual career is in jeopardy and he’s only 26 years old. He couldn’t take body shots with his old trainer. And he can’t take body shots with his new trainer. Now if he goes to a new trainer, who doesn’t love him as a person but views this as a business he can be in serious trouble. 

There is a difference from being trained by a man who cares for you as a person vs a man who cares about training you for a specific fight. Fighters have to be very careful. It’s why I only train fighters I have a chemistry with. I only train fighters I genuinely LIKE as people. I want to care about a man I train. I want to feel good doing the extra for him. I want to be able to throw the towel in if I have to because I want to save him. I won’t train a fighter I don’t have chemistry with. You know it after meeting him if he’s your type of person or not. This a very deep subject. And again there are times a trainer switch is in order. But for the most part I see 80% of the time, the fighter makes the wrong decision and he regrets it for the rest of his life. 

Jermaine Taylor would be a HOF had he stayed with Pat Burns but he can never get what happened back. It’s a deep subject and I really don’t have room to fully discuss it. But I will say I have turned down jobs and told fighters to work it out with their trainer and grow when I thought the fighter was corner hopping too fast. I’m different though. Some trainers put my money first. I put morals first, winning second and money third. 

I just want to touch on a few things...It's shaping up to be a great Summer of Boxing. This past weekend's Castano-Charlo thriller may turn out to be this year's best fight. It featured two elite level champions in a high stakes Chess match that saw numerous ebbs and flows. I tabbed it as a 55/45 fight coming in and only slightly favored Jermell because he had the better level of opposition.

But I tried to explain to folks that Mr. Castano was no joke and had defeated guys like Spence Jr. and Derevyanchenko in the amateurs. When he applied the stick, Charlo was killing Castano, but he wasn't faithful to it. Castano did little things that nullified Charlo's slight speed advantage like taking a little, choppy half step forward or backwards that threw Charlo's rhythm off. Castano is a very intelligent fighter. Charlo has as much heart as any fighter in the game today. I had no issue with the draw. I had Castano edging it by a single point, but he was hurt badly in the 2nd and the 10th, especially the 10th. I gave Charlo 2, 7, 10-12 with the 10th being a 10-8 round because quite frankly, it was amazing Castano made it out of that round. Charlo will need to stay off the ropes in the rematch and Castano will need to keep the jab battle slightly less lopsided. Two great fighters. One amazing fight that took me back to the late 70s, 80s and 90s. A rematch is a must, but due to mandatories, probably won't happen until next Summer.

Instead of celebrating these two great fighters for one helluva a fight, many fans were engaging in a pathetic online race war instead. Very sad to see. Lastly, I would be very shocked and sickened if Terence Crawford returns to Top Rank in October. Bob Arum has said things that should have essentially hammered the final nail in the coffin of that relationship. The thing I find disturbing is how silent BoMac has been regarding the horrific job Top Rank has done with Crawford's career. I have my own theory about the role BoMac has played in the stagnation of Crawford's career, but I will save that for another day. What I will say is that McIntyre is equipped to be a trainer, not a manager. To my knowledge, he has no real background in business or contract law. Crawford needs a real manager, someone who would have kept Bob in check. There's a reason Ray Leonard was never exploited or abused by promoters during his career. That reason was named Mike Trainer.

Peace, Carl in Queens, NY

Bread’s Response: I am very curious as to what way Crawford will go in October. I just read the WBO ordered a fight with him and Shawn Porter. But ordering a fight and being able to make fighters fight is not the same. Let’s see what happens.

I also don’t want to blame Bomac for poor management. Terence Crawford is a killer. That’s the #1 reason why he hasn’t had a big fight at 147lbs. If Crawford was a more vulnerable fighter, he would have gotten more fights. If Crawford was with PBC who’s to say that the big names at 147 would have fought him. 

Remember Errol Spence was ducked for a few years also. He didn’t get the big names until a couple of years in his reign. And Spence was forced to go to the UK to fight Kell Brook for his title. People seem to forget Errol’s early run.

Yes Ray Leonard didn’t have a promoter. He had a lawyer in Mike Trainer who worked with promoters. But let me say this. It took Leonard an ATG fighter to pull that off. You have to be special to pull off what Leonard pulled off. If Leonard was just very good the promoters would have blackballed him or forced him to sign with them. But they couldn’t deny his talent or accomplishments so they played ball.. If fighters read this and research Leonard, before they try to copycat Leonard, they need to take self inventory and determine if they are as good as him first.

Brother Bread, what's good?

Love the mailbag and wait for it with baited breath every week. The reason I'm writing you is that you, like me, are real adamant against the use of  PEDs in the sport of boxing Now, I just saw Jean Pascal's trainer Stephan LaRouche make a strongly worded statement separating himself from Jean after his recent positive test and subsequent stripping of his title. I just wanted to know what would you do in a situation like this where your guy tests positive for a PED before a big fight

Would you drop him like LaRouche or would you use it as a teachable moment for the kid?Put him on probation?

Also a few MM's:

Tito Trinidad vs. Floyd Mayweather (147)

Tito Trinidad vs. Manny Pacquiao (147)

Roberto Duran vs. Floyd Mayweather (147)

Roberto Duran vs. Manny Pacquiao (147)

Bread’s Response: I don’t like to say what I would do in certain situations without knowing all of the details. I don’t know what Larouche knew or didn’t know. That’s a huge factor. If he didn’t know and he went through a long camp believing he would get a head trainer’s percentage of a 7 figure purse then he was screwed over royally. If he did know then that’s on him and he’s being a hypocrite. Personally I would never work with a fighter KNOWING he was on PEDS. If he popped dirty and I believe his PED use was intentional I would leave. If I thought he was duped or by some unique chance he took a supplement and it had something banned in it I would be more understanding. 

For example let’s say he took an over the counter supplement from GNC that was advertised as OK, but had something banned in it, I would most likely be lenient. Any fighter that trains with me knows how I feel about this. I’m curious to hear Larouche’s thoughts on this. I don’t know Pascal or Larouche so it’s hard to speculate. But from the outside looking in it seems as if Larouche wants to distance himself from Pascal…..

I can’t call Tito vs Floyd at 147. Some say it would be a replay of Floyd vs Corrales but Tito was better than Corrales. His arms were longer. He punched harder. And I think his chin was better. You have to remember Floyd beat Corrales at 130lbs. We aren’t talking who is the best P4P. We are talking a real fight. Tito was a physically imposing fighter, who fought down hill. He would be the best fighter Floyd fought at 147 if we are talking prime. I can’t call this fight, and I can see paths for both fighters winning. The biggest obstacle for Floyd would be Tito’s late round fighting. Floyd usually takes the fights from 8-12 and seals the deal. But Tito is also murder down the stretch and that’s where the fight will be decided. 

I can see the Manny who beat Oscar outboxing Tito, but on more days I see Tito clipping Manny in a brutal fight.

The Duran that beat Ray Leonard in June of 1980 would beat Floyd in my opinion. Besides Robinson, Hearns and Leonard I don’t know if anyone 147lb fighter in history could beat THAT Duran. 

I would also favor Duran over Pac in a great, great fight. I say Duran by decisions. 

Floyd and Manny are unique because they are transcendent. They can match up with any fighters ever in every weight class they ever participated in. I don’t pick them to beat everyone but they hold their own vs everybody. That’s the difference between an ATG and a great.

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